New Amendment could save Ball State in fines

Amendment allows more false fire alarms before a fee

Muncie City Council voted 8-1 to approve an amendment that could alleviate Ball State from paying for excessive false fire alarms.

Before the amendment was passed, any building, regardless of its size, would have to pay a fine after a third false alarm. With the amendment, a building with one to 50 devices would pay a fine with the third false alarm. A building with 51 to 250 devices would pay only after the sixth alarm. Any building with more than 251 will pay a fine after the eighth alarm.

The amendment gives more breathing room to 29 buildings on campus, all of which have more than 50 alarms.

Last year, according to the city clerk, Ball State was fined approximately $1,000 in fines.

According to Muncie Fire Chief Gary Lucas, the amendment was a fairness issue.

Council member Mary Jo Barton was the lone opponent. She thought that if it was a fairness issue, it should have been covered when the original ordinance was passed. She also thought it was an issue only because of the influence of Ball State and Ball Memorial Hospital.

Property owners who exceed the allotted number of false fire alarms under the new ordinance can still be fined up to $150; however, if the property owner pays the Office of the City Controller within 30 days of the date of the citation, he or she will pay $100.


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